Tutorials and Information for using Stones with Metal Clay

This page has links to useful resources about setting stones in metal clay. You’ll find information, tutorials and project guides about adding stones to PMC and Art Clay and stone setting in metal clay. Content checked February 2018.

External links open in a new window.

AGTA Guide to Gemstone Treatments

Rio Grande uses these symbols, set by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), to disclose any enhancements that may have been applied to their gemstones. For the benefit of your company and your customers, Rio Grande encourages you to use these symbols when you buy, display and sell stones and stone-set jewelry.

Art Jewelry Magazine – Opal Glossary

Find out all the terms used about Opals in this useful Opal glossary article.

Attaching and Setting Stones to Art Clay

Useful tutorial from Art Clay World

Chart showing gemstone characteristics

Includes information about how to fire them with Art Clay – from Art Clay World

Diamonds in Bronze Clay – Celie Fago

Celie Fago first fired diamonds in bronze clay in 2007/08 and wrote this blog post about it in 2010.

Diamonds in Sterling Metal Clay – Celie Fago

Celie Fago has added diamonds to Sterling metal clay and fired them in place. This blog post gives some information on this.

Fire Mountain Gems

US based supplier of Art Clay and stones. This is a short information page covering laboratory grown, synthetic and natural stones and also cubic zirconium (CZ).

Gemstones in Metal Clay 2018

Great article by Mardel Rein for Cool Tools updated when new information becomes available, latest update 2018. It includes information about firing gemstones in EZ960 open shelf and in carbon for silver, bronze and copper clay. Also includes firing instructions for Nano Gems.

Kiln tests of stones

List of the results from Kevin Whitmore’s experiments in firing gemstones. Useful resource for teachers.

Firing gemstones and natural stones

Good information from Art Clay World

Firing test information for gemstones used with Art Clay

Great resource from Art Clay World


Mohs Gemstone Hardness Scale

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale that characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science, some of which are more quantitative.

Natural Gemstone Firing Guide – Rio Grande

Over the years, Rio Grande has tested lots of natural gemstones for use in PMC®. The charts on this page can guide you toward stones to consider and stones to avoid when co-firing in PMC. 

Setting Gemstones in Metal Clay – Margaret Schindel

If you want to learn many different options for setting gemstones in metal clay both before and after firing, this article is for you. In addition to metal clay setting techniques and tips, you’ll also find recommended gemstone firing test charts and helpful tutorials, books, videos and tools. 

Teeda – Guide to Gemology

Great resource for information about gems. Includes cutting and polishing gems, gemstone characteristics and caring for your gemstones.

Working with Pearls

Useful article about pearls and how to work with them in jewelry. Includes how to repair pearl jewellery.


Bead setting


This tutorial on the Ganoksin website is written by Charles Lewton-Brain. The technique is explained for traditional goldsmiths but is easily adaptable for metal clay.

Bezel set earringsBezel Set Earrings by Patrik Kusek

Embed kiln-safe stones in metal clay for a bezel-set look.

Book of Kells pendantBook of Kells Pendant

In this tutorial you will learn to make a pendant with a decorative attached bail and how to add a gemstone cab using a premade bezel cup. From Deb Fitz.


Fire agate ringFire Agate Ring

Nice tutorial on how to make a bezel for an unusual shaped stone.

Framed bezel pendantFramed Bezel by Robin Ragsdale

This great tutorial is free to view on the Cre8tive Fire website. Goldie Bronze™ is a beautiful material.  When constructing a bezel for a cabochon gem we need to treat the bronze clay differently than silver clay.  A common method used with silver clay is to make a plug from jeweler’s investment to stop the metal clay bezel from shrinking smaller than the size of the stone. However, jeweler’s investment creates a nasty crusty black layer on fired bronze clay that can be impossible to remove. This dilemma led Robin on a quest to find a repeatable process for making bronze bezels. After months of experimentation and a box of failures she now has a reliable method that works every time!

Square bezel settingSquare Bezel Setting

Setting gemstones in bezels can be easy or difficult, depending on the stone size, metal thickness, and, of course, the skill of the jeweler. More difficult than round or oval settings, square bezels require exact fitting and burring, firm control of the punch, and precision filing and finishing.

Close Menu